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February 2, 2021

Project Directors are the Linchpins of Successful Outcomes 

Haskell Program Management service ensures success from the perspectives of finance, design and construction, and owner experience.

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When Dave Bartels, Director of Strategic Planning and Development for Haskell’s Consumer Packaged Goods Delivery Group, talks about how Haskell manages large projects, he refers to the company's 15 or so project directors using a football analogy.

“They’re kind of like our franchise quarterbacks at Haskell,” Bartels said. “We wouldn’t be who we are without them.”

The project directors, coordinating with a team of project managers, execute Haskell’s Engineering-Procure-Construct (EPC) process, overseeing a project from beginning to end. While some of Haskell’s competitors can only fulfill one part of a project, like design or construction, Haskell provides an integrated service that provides the client with one point of contact through the entire process.

Project and program management start with setting a defined scope and expectations with the client. After Haskell understands all the client objectives, it manages all details of a project or program from scheduling to equipment and integration management. Everything from benchmarks, budgets, relationship management and verification are handled by one company and one person, the project director.

Bartels says that project directors are responsible for three broad areas. They are responsible for the overall financials or profit of a project, the design and construction, and the client experience. To handle all these areas, flexibility and expertise in several areas are key.

“Program management is kind of an art and a science,” Bartels says. “There's a process to it, but yet you got to be pretty fluid in managing many different people in a lot of different phases of the project.”

This includes managing and keeping the client informed of timelines and expectations, keeping the contractors and construction companies on time and on budget as well as working with Haskell’s internal team on the project. Program management often covers many projects that are related or occur in a particular capital cycle.

Bartels says all great project directors are technical, they have good business acumen and they are great communicators. They use that communication ability to work with the internal team, senior leadership and the client at a very high level to ensure the success of the broad program.

The benefits for the client are simple, but powerful. They have one point of contact for the whole program. “One back to pat, or one throat to choke,” Bartels jokes. This simplifies the communication and creates accountability for the whole team.

That accountability means fewer chances of things going wrong, and fewer headaches for the client. “If a client has to deal with three different companies to get something done, it’s kind of like having a relay race where the baton can be dropped three different times,” Bartels says. “With Haskell, there’s no handing off to someone else, because we can do it all.”

This often speeds up projects as well, creating efficiencies and cost savings. “From a schedule standpoint, when you have a design-build project with a project director, you can work collaboratively,” Bartels say. “You can start construction before maybe the drawings are complete and go faster because there’s one integrated team in charge of the program.”

Faster. Simpler. And fewer mistakes. Haskell’s program management philosophy offers many advantages while serving as an advocate for the client. And their project directors are the quarterbacks that make the whole thing work.

“When you have a really challenging project that has lots of different phases and is on an aggressive schedule, that's our that's our bread and butter,” Bartels says. “That’s where we want to be.”

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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